It starts today! Hopefully with the national radio coverage and the good PR we have been given by Dave Watters from the league we should be receiving a load of kit from clubs all across the north of England. Once we know who has collected for us and how much, we will be in touch if we need any collecting from a club near to you.

We’ve set up an account for KitAid with Easyshopping and we now need to try and promote it to our supporters to encourage them to register.  It is really easy (hence the name!) and could be beneficial for us, as if you choose KitAid as your preferred charity we will recive a payment for every online purchase made with some really big organisations, i.e. Amazon, Argos, Tesco and hundreds more well known names.

If you do shop online please register and please encourage your friends to do the same.  It has been a very slow start, despite some publicity across Affinity Water, our web and twitter sites.

We have been holding some funds as "ringfenced" for special projects and this week we were able to let the charity partners know they had been chosen.

We decided to make the grants to small charities we know who can make the money go a long way and they will use it for projects which match our purpose.

The chosen projects were:

  • Ballysillan Belfast Football Camp £550
  • Malealea Sports Committee, Lesotho £900
  • TAFCE – The Gambia £600
  • MPiD – Uganda £600

The response from the charities has been fantastic and I think we all wish we could be Bill Gates for a day and donate much more.

KitAid is not really about fundraising and we were fortunate to receive separate donations from the Charlie Fidler Memorial Fund and Spalding Grammar School

It is nice to be able to support projects that will leave a lasting legacy

We always ask for feedback from the charities we partner with and in most cases we receive it. Sometimes we receive an email or letter which really stands out and makes you realise the power of what we do. The following did exatly that and the fact that our shirts have probably allowed 2 boys to attend a school which they could not previously afford to do, is quite humbling. Please see the following note received by Ben (van Nes) from one of his projects.

"We greatly appreciate your contribution to facilitate our programme of empowering youth through sports in Kenya. The provission of football kit from KITAID has made our dream come true.This could not have been possible without the KITAID team that has worked tirelessly to make a difference in people`s lives. The impact of football has been felt across the whole county of Bumula in Kenya. Youth are nolonger idling around shopping centres and being involved in antisocial behaviour.

Within the last 2 years 32 youth teams have been issued with football kits in Bumula county. 2 students who had been dropped out of school for lack of fees have been admitted in two sports oriented schools with free education bursaries. Their talent was sported by school sports representatives who attended one of our annual football events. These events are used to gather communities and mostly targetting youth to alleviate idleness and antisocial behaviour by engaging and empowering them on issues of health,unemployment, identity and self worth. This is done by organising interactive workshops and video clips.

5 primary schools received football uniform and it was very exciting when whole school Activities were paralysed,all class lessons cancelled and parade assembled just to receive the uniform. They had never had any uniform since the foundation of their schools which dates back as far as 1965.(Since Independence) They always played with one team removing their shirts (topless ) during their inter- school competitions, now they cant wait for the season to beggin. All this was made possible by contribution of Kits from KITAID. This years event which takes place in August will even be bigger and better, involving nearly 20 teams across the county and other 10 different sports activities"

You may remember we entered into a charity partnership last year with the HFA.

Apart from Louisa attending some of our boxing up sessions we haven’t really had the time to launch or develop the partnership further but we are about to do so.

Louisa has arranged for all of the County Cup Finals (25 in all) to be made KitAid events and we have designed a poster which will be included in their programme and sent to all competing finalists.

The CEO of HFA will be joining us at our next boxing up session and we have also been invited to attend their annual awards event in June, so the launch is taking off.

I am really pleased with this partnership as if we can prove it works we can hopefully introduce it across other County FA’s.

Thanks to Helen for contacting Ellen White and for getting her interested in KitAid.

As a result she donated a mountain of her own England and Arsenal training kit and has expressed an interest in coming along to a boxing up session soon.

We held an official presentation at a St Albans City match in early Jan, when Ellens’s kit, some from Birmingham City Ladies, as well as St Albans, was handed over on a freezing half time pitch presentation.

Helen took some of the kit with her out to the Gambia and I have given some to Clare Muir for her trip to Kenya this month, so we should soon be able to show Ellen where her kit has ended up.

I have been trying to get Arsenal Ladies involved for a while now, as they are based at the local University of Herts and I think it is good for KitAid to help promote football for girls in Africa.

Barry has launched part 2 of his Merseywide/Marine FC collection and he is trying to reach 10,000 shirts collected by the end of the season.

He has recently passed the 7k milestone, which is amazing.

He has got support from BBC Radio Merseyside which helps, not only with the shirt appeal but in terms of publicising KitAid.

In 2012 we sorted, packed and donated 775 boxes of kit which amounts to an amazing 26,775 items.

Across the world we have kitted out the equivalent of 1,785 teams, which is amazing, but even better, we have brought 26,775 smiles and a feeling of hope/pleasure to this many people.

This convinces me it is really worthwhile and together we do make a difference.

Barry Lenton did fantastically well in 2012 by collecting 6,600 items of kit and he is re-launching the appeal in Jan with the target of reaching 10,000 items.

He has persuaded BBC Radio Merseyside to support him again so fingers crossed it will be another success. Well done Barry/Marine FC.

A great draw as it brings 2 clubs who have supported KA together. I have sponsored the match ball in KA’s name and David Ingham (RC for Cumbria) is a mad Barrow supporter and will be travelling down. David doesn’t really get the chance to get to many of our events so it will be a nice way of meeting up to share KA news. May the best team win, as long as it is Chesham!!